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Street designated after late Latino City Council president, Louis Escobar

By La Prensa Staff

A former Latino Toledo City Council president received a posthumous honor Aug. 18, 2021 when Toledo's mayor and various city council members officially designated a portion of Adams Street in Uptown Toledo as: “Louis Escobar Way.” The ceremony came just shy of a year after the 70-year-old Escobar's death.

Escobar served two, four-year terms on Toledo City Council, including three years as its president. He held the distinctions of becoming the first gay man and first Latino to be elected to city council. The ceremony took place at the intersection of Adams and 13th Streets. A rainbow pattern was painted onto the crosswalks at that same intersection.

“Louis Escobar was an outstanding public servant, but more importantly, he was an even better person, and when we served together on Toledo City Council, he was someone who I looked up to and respected,” said Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz said. “Toledo was fortunate to have such a dedicated public servant.”

“Louis was a trailblazer and leaves behind an incredible legacy in Toledo,” said Councilman Nick Komives. “We are honored to rename a portion of Adams Street – very close to what is now ‘Pride Way’ – after Louis Escobar.”

Kelly Altenberger, Escobar’s long-time partner and later husband, attended the ceremony, which was fittingly held just before Toledo Pride weekend with events held downtown and a Sunday brunch crawl on Adams St.

 

 

“I want them to remember that his heart was with the community,” Alternberger told La Prensa shortly after Escobar's death. “He was a tireless advocate for what he thought was right for the community. He was surrounded by people who had their own agendas, but he never let those other agendas get in his way. Louis was different. Louis built bridges. I think that was part of his success.”

Escobar developed a reputation as a ‘consensus-builder’ as city council president, sometimes angering his own Democratic party with some of his decisions. Escobar was known to reach across the aisle to council Republicans and regarded council committee appointments in a nonpartisan manner.

Escobar actively worked toward social justice within the Latino community, devoting a lot of his time to causes and concerns such as education, healthcare, diversity, and cultural competence. He, along with his close friend—political activist Connie Eason—received a Diamante Award in 2002.

Most of Escobar’s career was devoted to public service—five years as a Catholic priest, as a jail counselor, as a probation officer, as a facilitator/director of a self-help group for people living with HIV/AIDS, and as a substance abuse counselor and then as a director of Adelante, Inc. He also ran a homeless shelter and served as interim coordinator at the University of Toledo’s Multicultural Student Center.

As the executive director of Adelante, Inc., Escobar doubled the social service nonprofit’s budget, introduced innovative, culturally-sensitive programs, and was instrumental in coordinating Adelante’s fifth year anniversary celebration and in creating César E. Chávez Humanitarian Awards banquet.

Escobar himself was awarded the César E. Chávez Humanitarian Award at the 2010 ceremony.

NOTE: In La Prensa photo is Louis Escobar with Councilwoman Theresa Morris.

 

 

 
Copyright © 1989 to 2021 by [LaPrensa Publications Inc.]. All rights reserved.
Revised: 09/07/21 19:51:19 -0700.

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